Sweet Cuppem Cakes

Hey everybody!

It’s been a while since my last post – and, since then – I’ve acquired a terrifyingly and intimidatingly awesome new camera! I’m still very much in the midst of learning how to use it, and likely will be for the rest of my life, but I thought – why not just dive in? (… for the record, it’s a Canon EOS Rebel XS, if you’re curious!)

So far, I’ve taken pictures of snowstorms, melting snow rivers, my boyfriend, my dog, my cat, trees etc. – and now – cupcakes!

I’ve been eating pretty healthily lately, and I’m all about making healthy foods fun – so I’ve been having a lot of tasty fruit smoothies (my favourite one is a peanut butter banana smoothie – I’ll add the recipe here for a bonus though I don’t have pics! Look for it in the “p.s.” hehe), playing around with quinoa and veggies and different delicious proteins, and I’ve also been experimenting with vegan/gluten-free baking!

I have a couple of people very close to me who are unable to eat gluten – so I am so excited to be able to learn recipes for stuff they can eat – and also I have some vegetarians and vegans in my life! It’s win/win.

The recipe I used for these cupcakes is from Babycakes NYC and the recipe can be seen/found here: Babycakes Vanilla Cupcakes Recipe.

The recipe for the frosting that I used was found on the internet – and had 5 stars – and deserves every single one of them. I’ll include it below!

This is where I found the recipe.

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Vegan Cream Cheese (I used Toffuti ‘Better than Cream Cheese’ – if you’re in Corner Brook – I’ve JUST found this at Sobey’s!)
  • 1/4 cup Vegan Margarine (I used Becel Vegan)
  • 2 Cups Powdered Sugar (I used powdered sugar)(Sorry, that was not necessary – I was just enjoying making side-notes)
  • 2 tsp Vanilla (I really love vanilla – you may want to use only 1 tsp – I also use pure vanilla – if you want a brighter frosting, you can use artificial clear – but real vanilla is so worth it)

Directions:

Cream together cream cheese and margerine for a couple minutes – I did this up on high so it got nice and fluffy – but don’t over mix or it will get all liquidy. Slowly add powdered sugar, say 1/4 cup at a time. Add vanilla. Try not to eat it all before you put it on the cupcakes. Cover up screw-ups with sprinkles.

I hope you enjoy these if you decide to give them a try! I personally find them super moist and delicious – and I love the hint of lemon in the cupcakes – and I enjoy that I can make them for my grandma and my friend Kristen when I visit BC! Hooray! Make sure you bake these until they are cooked all the way through – or else they can be a bit TOO moist! Which I guess, really, is just another way of saying “under-cooked”.

This is my dog Link, trying to wink his way in to getting some fries.

As for me, I am going to be scarfing these down in an effort to quell my nervousness about reading poetry this weekend in Corner Brook at the April Rabbit. I’ve done a lot of singing, and I’ve done a lot of writing songs and poetry and the like, but I don’t remember ever having read any poems out loud, excluding perhaps in my school days. TERRIFYING.

If you’re in the Corner Brook area, you should really check it out! I am so excited to hear everyones poetry (so many insanely talented people) and I think it’s going to be a fantastic night of many words. It starts at 8pm this Saturday at King Henry’s Pub in the Glynmill Inn. You can find the facebook event page here: April Rabbit Event Page (I seriously love the poster.) I feel so lucky to be able to be a part of such a fun event! Yay!

Anyhow, that’s it for now. Please enjoy this picture of a tree.

Cheers,

Alley :)

ps (I told you there was going to be one)

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (I prefer mine slightly under ripe)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbls peanut butter (yeah right – I used closer to 4, if we’re being honest here)
  • 2 tbls chia seeds
  • 3 – 4 ice cubes
  • honey to taste (i like to swirl it on the top after it’s all made!)

Directions:

Blend everything – drink everything!

xoxoxoxoxoxoox

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The War of the Roses

When I was little, I remember the movie version of “The War of the Roses” with Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny deVito scaring the CRAP out of me, but also making me highly curious about all things love and life. Now, keep in mind, at this time, I also felt the same about the movie ‘Howard the Duck’ and ‘Batteries Not Included’ (AWESOME), so I’m not sure about how relevant my early 80’s thoughts are these days, but they shaped a mind, regardless.

“Is this what adult relationships are like?!?!”, wondered my little brain, as glass crashed, chandeliers were swung from, venom spewed. Terrifying. Later in life, my larger, more experienced (and tired, though I can’t say much more evolved) brain answered, “They shouldn’t be.” – and made a cake instead.

BUT – do you know what isn’t like that?

Friends.

Cake – and friendship.

After everything falls apart in life (relationships AND cake, sometimes), as cliched as it sounds, you can always count on friends to be there to help you put things back together – or when everything is great, you can be sure they’ll be there, and be happy for you. (…and maybe have an extra bucket of icing around to help you smush the cake back together should it fall over, whether from being thrown or from natural causes.)(which totally happened to my best friends amazing wedding cake a couple years back – we watched it slowly.. fall.. off.. the table… but it was put back with such expert speed you’d never know that it happened!)

At any rate, recently, one such friend had a birthday!

I told her I’d make her a cake, as she is usually the one who makes the birthday cakes (seriously, just ask her) – and she said she’d like something vanilla and pretty.

IMMEDIATELY my mind shot to an image that I’d seen a few weeks back on a blog posting on foodgawker – a Rose Cake tutorial. This tutorial was PERFECT! Step by step and with little hints. AND, it said it was easier than it looked. So, I said, I knew just what to make.

Looking back, really, for a first time doing a big piping buttercream type project – it WAS relatively simple! It was no war at all, really, until at the very end when my hands were slippery and my eyes started to bug out of my head because it was 12:30AM and why couldn’t I just be patient and wait til morning?!?!?!!! but NOOOO NO NO!!! gotta get it done NOW or else I won’t sleep. Way to go self, way to go. Deep breath.

Ahhhh... random flower image... breattthhheeee...

All I needed was a good level cake (as level as I can get it with limited tools), a delicious buttercream, a 1m tip and a piping bag. (read: a ziplock bag with the tip attached with packing tape.)(again, being limited in gear is no problem if you use a bit of elbow grease.)(and 6 + sticks of butter.)(did I say that?)(oops, the secrets out.), and to give in to the fact that no matter how many times I washed my hands or had a bath – I was just going to smell like butter now. That was my fate.

It was worth it!

The cake was a hit – especially with my friend – and that’s really all that matters.

The cake itself was a buttermilk cake from Joy of Cooking (actually the same recipe as the red velvet, but with the steps to making it red velvet omitted) with a classic buttercream frosting. Double batch. You’ll need LOTS of frosting for this. LOTS. This is not a health cake.

*One note on this cake – I never actually have buttermilk on hand (as I have no idea what else I would use it for), so I just make my own. I use about 1tbls of lemon juice per cup of milk, and let it sit for a bit before adding it to the recipe – and that seems to work great!

________________

Buttermilk Layer Cakestraight out of ‘Joy of Cooking’

(makes two 8 or 9 inch round layers)(I made double this recipe)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Have all ingredients at room temperature. Grease and flour your cake pans or line bottoms of pans with wax or parchment paper.

Whisk together until thoroughly blended:

  • 2 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Beat in a large bowl until creamy:

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter

Gradually add and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 3 – 5 minutes:

  • 1 1/3 cups sugar

Whisk together then gradually beat in, taking about 2 mins:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Beating at a low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with:

  • 1 cup buttermilk

in two parts, beating until smooth, scraping the bowl with a spatula as necessary.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. (I always use a knife) – about 25 – 30 minutes in 9 inch pans, closer to 30 – 35 minutes in 8 inch pans.

Frost with your favourite buttercream recipe. I used the one from Joy of Cooking – but if you have one you like that pipes nicely, use that!

Because of the roses, this cake is a real frosting monger – so I highly suggest doubling your recipe. Seriously. 6 sticks of butter. I could have used more – but I ran out of butter.

Now, give of this cake freely – it is not one that is safe to horde – and life is too short not to love everybody.

Cheers, and until next time (when you will likely STILL smell like butter if you get the frosting all over you, as I did),

peace, and take care of your friends.

Allison :)

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Lunch with my Demons

Herewith, a bit of a short story. Enjoy :)

Lunch with my demons

by Allison Crowe – (her being me.)

I sat down for lunch with my demons the other day, just to see them all in the same room at the same time. One set the table, cleaned it, and reset it again. She would do this repeatedly throughout the evening. All seated together for the first time (except for the one, she wouldn’t sit down)(and well, for the other one, who refused to get up – she stayed in bed) conversation was, you might say, interesting.

The first one to arrive was sorry that she was late. She was dressed to the nines.

The last one wasn’t sorry she was late at all, and clearly hadn’t showered.

After the initial introductions had taken place (amid much tension) one of the girls just started screaming, wailing, as if in pain, and then when the anxious one asked what was wrong, she just snapped “NOTHING” and continued wailing, making the anxious one all the more anxious, until she burst in to tears and had to leave the room, causing one of them to just keep laughing and laughing – not that anything was funny – she just didn’t know what else to do.

One of them apologized for all this unreasonable behaviour.

One of them laughed.

In the midst of it all, one tried to make an ill-humored joke and when that fell flat she retreated, rejected, back in to her coat of apathy. What was the point of all this anyways?

One made a brief recant of the others statement. She hadn’t meant it.

One of them laughed.

One had a problem, and told the entire table about it even thought it was completely inappropriate. Another one felt that her problem was worse than hers, so she spoke up and over the other one, and then she felt jilted and unappreciated, but held it in.

One wondered why we had to talk at all.

One laughed.

When one reset the table for the last time, the timer went off and she was distracted for long enough to bring out the meal, intricately prepared, everything made from scratch. She didn’t stick around long enough to hear the compliments as there were dishes to be done, so another one lapped up the glory – after having done nothing at all but her hair.

Before the meal was even finished, she snatched the plates from all the demons, causing one creature, still devouring, to lash out and insult everyone at the table – all the while smashing everything in sight. Then they ALL joined in. Well, most of them.

For my part, I just sat there in awe as the mayhem unfolded in front of me. One of them was in the corner rocking back and forth pretending that none of this was happening – and one of them was in the middle of the room jumping up and down, celebrating this fireball of anarchy.

One was sorry, so so sorry, for this destruction.

One giggled.

Somehow, minutes later, they all took a deep breath and got back to being as normal as possible, even though by now everyone was crying. (except for two – one was still in bed, and the other just stared straight ahead, burning holes in to the wall with her eyes)

Why had I set this up? The meal was delicious and it was all very interesting, if not enlightening, but really, what was I accomplishing by seating my flaws in the great hall for all to see?

I sat in wonder for so long, that I didn’t realize they had gone.

The lights came up and I realized that I was alone. There were broken dishes all around me, my face streaked in tears, and I was bleeding someone’s blood – the beautiful meticulously prepared meal now spoiled and wasted. I just wanted to go back to bed, but was struck with a need to clean this mess up before I even considered it. This was my fault, after all, and I would deal with the consequences.

The next day I couldn’t get out of bed, and I was sorry. So, so sorry.

So sorry in fact that I invited them all back for dinner the next evening to make up for it.

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Let them eat Super Meat Boy cake.

There’s something beautiful about people coming together, eating, laughing, and generally enjoying each others company. Besides the obvious (read: food is delicious) I think there are more subtle things that happen during these gatherings of friends.

You feed your face, yes, and lord knows I love to feed my face, but, what’s more is that you are feeding your soul and mind, and sort of can recharge through the right kind of group energy. So in a more positive connotation than the original speaker of these words I say, indeed, let them eat cake.

Yes, I am a hippie.

I also love video games.

I also love people that love video games, and one of those people that I love the most just had his birthday – and thus I made him a cake of one of his favourite video game character – Super Meat Boy.

A little bit of back story on myself and my experience with such cakes here:

I am obviously not an expert – I learned how to make marshmallow fondant from teh internetz,(O HAI!) and followed examples and patterns and paths that people had already, much to my delight, forged. I googled XBox 360 cake and found this AMAZING tutorial to get me going.

My first carved fondanty cake was an XBox 360 for my boyfriends brothers b-day (HOORAY ALLITERATION)  as seen here: (it took about 9 hours)

I had such a blast making this cake (which is, admittedly, a box mix – it was my first and I wanted to focus on the construction) that I couldn’t wait to get to my second.

Enter: SUPER MEAT BOY!

(photo courtesy of IGN)

Now for those of you who have never heard of this game – I warn you – it’s really really addicting. And really frustrating. I can only try a few times before I cower back to my Sims 3 family and just make an earthquake or firestorm happen to vent all previous Super Meat Boy frustrations. (he is not, btw, an actual wad of meat – he is merely a square boy with no skin)(mmm CAKE!)

SO here’s how the cake came together.

First I google super meatboy cake and found this link. (not sure if that will work)

I started by making a red velvet cake recipe from the Joy of Cooking (I swear to you, this cookbook has NEVER let me down – especially when it comes to baking- you should own it. I have an old one passed down from family members and a new updated one, too!) and iced it with Cream Cheese Frosting from same. (the Red Velvet Cake recipe is actually a buttermilk white cake with cocoa and red food coloring added at different points in the process)

I froze that overnight, all wrapped up in cling wrap – and the next day, got to carving Meat Boy in his shape-to-be. In truth all I did was carve out a little leg hole, and then used what I had just carved out as a fist.

Then it was time to make the fondant.

For this particular cake you will need:

  • – Wilton Food Gel (black and red)(I used a whole tub of red – and be warned – this gets messy)
  • – 6 cups Marshmallows
  • – 6 cups powdered sugar (or as much as it takes to come to the right consistancy – i find it works best when it’s like a stretchy bread dough)
  • – roughly 3 tbls of water
  • – a lot of grease. (i used vegetable oil)
  • 1 – 2 Layer Red Velvet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting(from Joy of Cooking)
  • Freaking sharp big knife (that was for the carving step back a couple of paragraphs there)

Instructions (based on my limited knowledge)

Start by microwaving the marshmallows and water for about 1 minute in a microwave safe greased bowl – and keep heating in subsequent 30 second periods until they get all nice and puffy and gooey. Mix all that goo til it’s nice and smooth with a greased spatula, and move in to grease mixing bowl. At this point, I greased the dough-hook (do you sense a pattern here??) and turned the mixer on to the lowest setting, slowly adding the powdered sugar and letting the dough-hook knead the “dough” until it was the right consistancy. This can take several minutes.

At this point, then, either separate the fondant in to pieces to be coloured, or colour the dough all together. I did this batch in two steps, the biggest amount dyeing red while it was still in the mixer, the other part I left white and dyed a small amount black for the face details. (THIS IS REALLY REALLY MESSY – I still have some dye in my fingernails a few days later so – be forewarned if you care about that sort of thing.)(I don’t.)

Once the fondant is mixed, prepare your surface. I used a wooden table, first greased and then covered in powdered sugar. I am still wiping the sticky surface off days later. Again, be forewarned. (if you are wondering why your dog is licking the floor, that is why)

With a fondant roller (and really, it’s important to have this – it’s silicone or plastic or something like that – you can get them at most stores that have any cake supplies) roll out your dough until it’s thin enough to work with, but not so thin it rips. (that’s what I found works anyways – again – not an expert – also – you are supposed to chill this for a while if you know what you’re doing but I don’t so I used it this way as it made my life easier. Que sera.)

Next, drape the red fondant over the entire cake and smooth with a fondant smoother (also important to get – its like a flat plastic paddle – really cheap), cutting off the excess bits and tucking it in ’til it looks right to you.

I then rolled out the black fondant and carved out the mouth and eye details, and then did the same with the white. If you’re like me – stare at a picture on your boyfriends iPad of supermeatboy and then call him in to the kitchen to hit the button again when the damn thing goes to sleep and you can’t touch it with your sugary sugary hands, and carve freehand until you get something that looks kinda like it’s s’posed to.

Attach the detail pieces with a little bit of water – and then i sort of dusted the icing sugar off with a bit of vegetable oil. Again, that’s probably totally messed up and wrong of me to do – BUT I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING.

And there you have him – SUPER MEAT BOY! :)

Now, make a couple of lasagnas with a sweet potato layer, cheap out and buy salad dressing cause you ran out of time and buy a frozen garlic bread, take out your homemade ice creams (thank you David Lebovitz you ice cream guru you) earlier than I did so people can actually eat it when the time comes, and wait for your friends to show up.

Have a great time.

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog. I know it’s been a long time since I’ve updated with any new recipes, but I’ve definitely been doing a lot of cooking and have much to catch up on!

This winter I’ve also been doing a lot of writing – and here’s a short story that kind of fits this post – about a dinner party in my head that went horribly horribly wrong.

Enjoy!

I hope this makes up for lost time. :)

If it doesn’t, here’s my wiener dog in a sweater. If this doesn’t do it for you, then I don’t know what will.

Peace!

Allison :)

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Pumpkin Gnocchi?

… at least pumpkin gnocchi is what I think I made. Whatever it was, it was delicious.

I love gnocchi. I can’t exactly remember the first time I HAD gnocchi – but I’ve been in love with it ever since. I love it with pesto, with zesty fresh tomato sauce, with capers… oh just with anything.

Now, let’s rewind about a week to Halloween. I LOVE Halloween. Always have, always will. I love costumes, I love jack-o-laterns, I love scary movies, ghost stories – the whole works. This year, however, I was incredibly lazy. I stayed home and watched scary movies (Resident Evil 1 and 2).

I went out for pretty much literally a few minutes, and I checked out my friend Stacy’s AMAZINGLY decorated house , and I didn’t even have a costume. What I did instead was say that I was the movie ‘paranormal activity’, and thus started knocking on her walls and picking up stuff and pretending it was floating and going “ooOOOooo” “oooOOOOOOoo“, and in doing that , somehow I managed to break a plastic bowl. I really WAS a poltergeist!! SEE?!?!!? NO wait – you can’t see. Right. That’s the point. And, finally, there was the pumpkin I bought with the best of jack-o-lantern intentions – which stayed in my trunk until after Halloween. Oops. I resolved to cook something with said pumpkin. After all,’tis the season to make a lot of stuff with pumpkins, and really, pumpkins can be pretty huge.

I thought I had a small pumpkin – until I started gutting it and trying to fit all the pieces in to my oven – and then remembering that I didn’t really have anything to cook it on.  Here’s what I did.

I sliced it down the middle, and then in to a few pieces – and then cut out the guts. I took those guts – and seperated out the seeds. (I took those seeds the next day and, at the suggestion of my friend Heather, toasted them in the oven with a little olive oil and sea salt – delish!)

Anyhow, as for the pumpkin, i cut it in to a bunch of little pieces, put it on a few pieces of tin foil that I tried to fashion as some sort of bizarre quasi-pan-thing – and put it on the top shelf of the oven with a cake pan filled with water on the bottom to.. I dunno.. steam it?! I have no idea.

This was the accidental pumpkin cornbread! You could do damage if you hit someone on the head with it, but other than that, it was really tasty! Honest!

I set the oven to.. something.. maybe 400?! ANd then baked it for.. some time. You see how much of a perfectionist I am? I know – it’s painful. Try to keep up.

At any rate, this eventually led to nice soft pumpkin that I was too lazy to puree so I put it in a bowl in the fridge and let sit over night.

The next day, I pulled up a gnocchi recipe and pureed the pumpkin – and when THAT went horribly wrong I made some really weird pumpkin cornbread stuff that was actually pretty tasty.

The next day after THAT, I took the little bit of pumpkin I had left and resolved to try again. This time, instead of following a recipe, all I did was add flour to the pumpkin until it was the right consistency, and also added salt and allspice to taste ( you can use fresh nutmeg if you have it – I didn’t – and allspice seemed pumpkiny)(turned out – it WAS! HOORAY!) – light and airy – perfect for making pillows of sauce-loving deliciousness – then I rolled them out in to a snake, and then I slaughtered that snake.

I took the pieces of pumpkin snake, and rolled them in to what looked like pieces of gnocchi, and then I tried to do the fancy fork thing.

When that failed miserably, I just took them as they were.

I boiled a giant pot of generously salted water, and then I cooked those gnocchi until they floated til the top – and that’s all they need. You don’t want tough pillows! I mean, maybe for sleeping, if you prefer a firm pillow, which I actually do, but I digress…

Drain the gnocchi, and set aside.

In a pan (or skillet – I love my skillet), put an unholy amount of butter and turn to medium heat melting butter until just nice and brown/golden. Add in some garlic – and things start to smell tasty – throw in some walnuts and chopped sage (not TOO much – sage is pretty strong – and, of course, if you burn it in your house it can help get rid of poltergeists) and get that all going to a nice heat.

 

Add in your gnocchi and stir around the pan to coat, and get the gnocchi just a little bit nice and golden brown. Funny word, that. Gnocchi. Gnocchi gnocchi gnocchi. GNOCCHIIII!!!!

Put on to a plate (seriously, I added that to the instructions. I’m awesome.)(I mean you don’t have to but it makes for nicer presentation) and cover with copius amounts of fresh parmesan and fresh ground pepper (I use a mix of black and white peppers and it’s super tasty!)

…. EAT IT!!!

Be happy. Be full. Enjoy the taste of butter and cheese and walnuts and garlic and sage and pumpkin and spices and pillowy soft delicious little morsels……. and if you’re me, and if you made a LOT – enjoy again the next night. I plan on it. Oh yes.

Happy November, folks! It’s my birthday month so, chances are, I’ll be making a cake sooner than later – and it may be ridiculous. Stay tuned!

enjoy!

Alley :)

ps. to recap, if you were to follow what I did for this the ingredients would read like this:

Ingredients:

  • some pumpkin
  • some flour
  • some salt
  • some spices
  • some garlic
  • some butter
  • some cheese
  • some walnuts
  • some sage

Instructions:

Give it to ‘er!!

 

(ps. here’s an ACTUAL recipe for pumpkin gnocchi, if all of the above makes you nervous)

peace!

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Roasted Potato Pizza…

… on homemade focaccia crust with homemade sweet tomato basil sauce… mmmm…

Hey everybody! :)

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the summer seems to be coming to a close – and I’m okay with that. I know, I know, hiss away – but I’m more of an Autumn, if you will.

Maybe it’s cause I’m born in November. Maybe it’s because I have a natural inclination towards a more melancholy disposition. (No, seriously, I do sometimes. I used to love Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King and Ann Rice novels as I was growing up… and with Edgar Allen Poe.. I didn’t even really READ it, I just liked the idea, I think… lol mind you, I also watched copious amounts of Monty Python movies and the Simpsons, so maybe that balances everything out…”balance” might be a strong word.) Maybe it’s a better time to write and create without the distraction of the glorious sun and the promise of much swimming. Maybe it’s because I really like wearing a lot of clothes. orrrr…

…MAYBE it’s because doing CRAZY amounts of cooking and baking is no longer looked upon as strange or too hot to do so!!!! YAYYYYYYY!!!!

There seems to be something going on now called the slow food revolution – making everything from scratch – taking time and really creating your food rather than going for what is quick and convenient. I love it. I love knowing that each piece of what I am eating was made by me. I also love knowing that if, given the encroaching zombie apocalypse, I should not be able to shop for these things, I will be able to survive in my own house without having to fight zombies in a grocery store. (Which, lets just agree, they love to hang out in.)

So, that brings me to this recipe – or, collection of recipes, as it were. All three parts of this recipe are from my FAVOURITE cookbook IN THE WORLD – ReBar – and it is vegetarian friendly – AND super filling. One piece and you’re done for. (Two pieces, like i had, and you’re beyond done for – the zombies will get you.)

Anywho, here’s the recipe for the pizza itself (as 3 recipes in one blog would be crazy!) If you’re interested in the ReBar cookbook (which I HIGHLY recommend – especially for vegetarians – i’ve actually owned it twice now – and the copy I have now is signed – I’m kind of a superfan, can you tell?)

_________________________

Roasted Potato Pizza – from ReBar

(the directions and things are pretty much exactly from the book with a couple wee changes)

Ingredients –

  • 1/2 recipe focaccia, or your favourite pizza crust (i actually used the whole thing – hehe)
  • 1 x recipe tomato sweet basil sauce (in the book it calls for a recipe for sundried tomato pesto – but i used another suggestion of theirs!)(whatever tomato sauce you like!)
  • 1lb red potatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp minced rosemary
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 bunch spinach, stemmed and washed
  • 2 x 6 oz jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 2 cups crumbled feta
  • 2 cups grated mozza

Directions –

Make your pizza dough, which ever recipe you choose to use. (I highly recommend focaccia! It’s super thick and fluffy and just yum) Preheat oven to 375F. Quarter the potatoes lengthwise and slice 1/4″ thick. Toss with garlic, rosemary, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast 20 – 30 minutes, until golden brown and tender. Cool and set aside. Slice spinach leaves in to 1/2” thick ribbons. Drain artichoke hearts and cut in half length-wise. Crumble and grate the cheese. (basically, prepare your topping!! i also added mushrooms and capers – and you can also add olives if you like!)(also, now would be a good time to make your pizza sauce – as the dough is rising)

Turn the oven heat up to 450F. Punch dough down and roll it out slightly on a floured board. Let the dough rest for several minutes, then transfer to an oiled 15″ pizza pan. Stretch the dough out to fit the pan, raising the edges slightly. If the dough bounces back, cover with a kitchen towel and let the dough rest until it gives.

To dress the pizza, (hehehe, i pictured the pizza wearing a dress) spread the bottom of the crust with sauce and sprinkle 1 cup of the mozza. Layer with spinach, potatoes, artichokes and olives, and whatever else. Sprinkle feta over top, and follow with the final cup of mozzarella. Turn down oven temp to 374F and bake the pizza on bottom rack for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the crust is golden.

Prepare to be very, very full. (In turn, making you look very delicious to zombies.)

:)

Many thanks to ReBar!!!

cheers,

Allison :)

xoxoxox

ps. in case I wasn’t doing enough shameless promotion of rebar already, CLICK HERE TO SEE THEIR WEBSITE AND COOKBOOK!!! hehehe ;) xoxoxoxo

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Eggless Mocha Cake

Aloha, all :)

Ahhh, home and rest. A perfect time to bake a cake! As I am typing this I can smell delicious cocoa in the oven and see a smooth dome of cakey goodness to my right. HOORAY!

I’m just home after being on tour for about 3 and a half weeks in beautiful BC – my homeland.

I had such an amazing and wonderfully busy time, in Sechelt, Saltspring Island, Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan, that it seems now like the whole thing is just a blur. It felt SO good to be doing shows again, and I can’t WAIT for my upcoming European tour in the fall, and all the other projects that are still proofing (bread-talk) as we speak. :)

I saw faces I know and love, I met many new friends, saw my best friends new little one,  saw and did all those things that I always try to do while I’m in BC, and Link even got to do a bit of summer school – right before a wiener dog party extravaganza!!! Imagine as many wiener dogs as you can .. well.. imagine.. all in one place, on one of the HOTTEST days of the summer, complete with wiener races. It was a blast, and Link got to meet his brother Horton.

And, of course, there were the shows, which are like my air and water supply (not to be confused with Air Supply) all in one. Nothing refreshes and exhausts me like a good show (maybe iced coffee… though the exhaustion only comes later hehehe ah caffeine crash), and show after show in succession is the most wonderfully therapeutic experience for me, in so many ways!

If you managed to come out to any of the shows, thank you so so much! If you didn’t, well thank YOU too, because you are here and reading.

I got to go to my FAVOURITE restaurant in the WORLD – ReBar – and saw my favorite restaurant guy, Billy, whom I got to sign my ReBar cookbook on my previous visit, and who gave me two FREE desserts (fruit crumble and ReBar chocolate cake DEAR GOD) upon arrival. Yum yum yum!

I saw WEIRD AL YANKOVIC LIVE!! IN NANAIMO!! It was amazing. Words can’t even describe.. perhaps I will do some sort of Weird Al themed post soon and relate a recipe to him and tell the story of the show… maybe mashed potatoes… (he had a thing for carving things from mashed potatoes in his movie UHF…) Yes… It shall be done.

Anywho, thanks so much for visiting me and checking in. I love you for it!

Now, a celebration of the successful completion of a tour – in cake form.

Eggless Mocha Cake! (I actually have no allergy to eggs or anything, and I eat them quite a bit, which is probably why I don’t have any, hence, eggless.)(Truthfully I’ve just been too lazy to buy any yet.)

(ps. I took all these pictures using the Hipstamtic app for my iPhone4.. hehehe.. it makes me feel like I know how to take pictures :p)

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Jeanette’s Condensed Milk Chocolate Cake

(from Egg Free Baking)

2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
200g melted butter OR ⅔ cup oil
1 x 400g can regular OR Lite sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or essence
1 cup water OR (coffee for a Mocha cake – I used coffee and it’s yummy!) OR (orange juice for a Jaffa cake)

Preheat oven to 150°C (350°F). Prepare an 20cm (8 inch) round springform tin OR an 20cm (8 inch) ring tin or brundt mould.
In a large bowl sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda. Make a well in the center.
Melt butter and condensed milk in microwave bowl and stir until combined or heat oil and condensed milk gently on stove top stirring continuously until blended.
Stir in the vanilla.
Pour the wet ingredients along with the water (or coffee or orange juice) into the well of dry ingredients.
Combine and spread in prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan.
Cover with chocolate icing if desired.

Enjoy!

xoxoxox

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